Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a wild mushroom that grows on trees in the Northern Hemisphere, most notably the birch tree. Chaga tea has been consumed for centuries throughout this region and is a delicious caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Numerous compounds have been isolated from wild chaga that show potential health benefits. The most notable constituents include:
Sterols: Sterols are important organic molecules that naturally occur in plants, animals, and fungi. Inotodiol, lanosterol, betulin, betulinic acid, and ergosterol peroxide are all triterpene sterols found in the chaga mushroom with numerous health-enhancing properties.* More…
Betulinic Acid: Betulin in birch trees is converted to betulinic acid by chaga and has been isolated from the mushroom’s tissue. Betulinic acid may be the most important triterpene sterol found in chaga. It is useful in supporting healthy function of the immune system, healthy cell division, and a healthy inflammation response.* More…
Adaptogens: Adaptogens are substances that help the body, both physically and mentally, adapt to stress and stay in balance.* The adaptogenic properties of chaga may also result in increased physical and mental energy.* More…
Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are long-chain carbohydrate molecules present in high concentrations in wild chaga. Polysaccharides are essential in supporting healthy function of the digestive and immune systems.* More…
Polyphenols: Polyphenols are molecules that are made up of multiple phenol sub units. Chaga is rich in polyphenols, which are useful for their antioxidant properties.*
Superoxide Dismutase: Chaga contains extremely high levels of superoxide dismutase, enzymes with strong antioxidant properties.*
Vitamins & Minerals: Chaga also contains many important vitamins and minerals including Vitamins B, D, and K as well as zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Chaga typically grows slowly in cold habitats and wild chaga has been shown to contain a much more desirable spectrum of beneficial metabolites than the cultivated variety.
Our chaga is the northernmost wild chaga you can buy in the Western Hemisphere. We sustainably harvest our chaga exclusively from birch trees at the sub polar latitude of 65° N. Certain organisms have been found to contain higher concentrations of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds at more northerly latitudes. Fairbanks, Alaska (orange circle on map), is positioned at one of the most northern points in North America’s boreal forest (green area on map), maximizing potential levels of beneficial constituents found in our chaga.
Wild Alaska Chaga inhabits one of the coldest climates on Earth. It is possible to harvest and buy chaga from other parts of the world and other regions of Alaska, but the wilderness of Interior Alaska is the only region in North America where chaga overwinters at temperatures as low as -60° F (-51° C). Levels of favorable compounds may be further increased during the harsh winter.
These two unique growing conditions (extreme northern latitude and extreme cold temperatures) of Wild Alaska Chaga harvested near Fairbanks, Alaska synergize to create the highest potential concentration of beneficial constituents found in any chaga on Earth. In fact, a unique constituent has been isolated that is particular to Alaskan chaga.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is concerned with food energetics. The chaga mushroom is particularly interesting in terms of hot/cold energy. Since it grows at such extreme cold temperatures, its cooling potential is nearly unmatched. It is also known to smooth the body’s qi and has a sweet flavor. In Chinese, the chaga mushroom is known as 恰加蘑菇, while in Korean it is called 차가 버섯.
Wild Alaska Chaga is committed to maintaining sustainable harvesting methods while collecting chaga. By being careful to remove the mushroom without damaging the host birch trees, we leave the forests of Interior Alaska as we found them: pristine.